Pastor Shocked by Student Misbehavior

From January through April of last school year, the Rev. R.L. Gundy, pastor of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church here in Jacksonville, served as a substitute teacher at Ribault High School.

He certainly got a rude awakening.

He reports that students walked the halls talking on cell phones with earphones in their ears, used profanity, talkback, and challenge security officers, administrators, and teachers.

Many of the girls were profane as well and in obvious violation of the dress code.  The boys, of course, had sagging pants that exposed their underwear.

On their arrival to class, students continued to use profanity and abusive language.  They texted in class, received telephone calls in class, and were not focused on getting an education– all the while challenging the authority of the teachers.

They ate in class when the rule said no eating.  Some teachers would enforce the rules while others would not.

Rev. Gundy reports that students were clearly cutting class.  When he confronted one of them, the students said, “I’m going to call my momma and have her come to the school and cuss you out like she did to the house administrator.”

Rev. Gundy also reports that some complained that he wrote too many disciplinary referrals to the house administrator’s office.  But he says that after three weeks of consistency, the majority of the students changed.

He claims that most students under his control improved their reading scores on standardized tests.

I’m imagining that you are probably thinking, “What else is new?”  And, sadly I have to agree with you.  What Rev. Gundy experienced firsthand for four months is commonplace for us throughout the year.

And, year after year it persists.

I don’t know about you, but I think every administrator in every school in this country should be REQUIRED to spend at least one full month a year teaching in the classroom.

Almost all of the administrators who have at least 20 years service have not had any direct classroom experience in at least 10 years or more.  They forget what it’s like.  They say they don’t, but they forget what it’s like–especially when you have to deal with the type of behavior that Rev. Gundy describes on a daily basis.

Speaking of administrators, why did the ones at Ribault High School turn a blind eye to the flagrant violations of the dress code policy?  What’s the use of having security personnel if they can’t do their jobs effectively?  Where is the principal?

What’s your opinion about this?

Coming Friday:  Discipline Problems: The Source and the Solution